Why a successful rebrand should be a collaboration

A new sign-in page that celebrates humans at work.

July 22, 2019, was a big day for Gusto. We launched a completely overhauled brand and a massively improved product experience.

What happened seemingly overnight started with nearly two years of tough questions: Who are we? Who do we want to be? What do we have to do to get there?

The answers kept pointing to the idea that our brand is our product and our product is our brand. This meant that a new identity system would have to be built by brand and product, together.

Everyone on your team should have the same definition of ‘great’

Your design team is growing. Fast. Everyone is moving in different directions. Nobody is using the same design tool. Nobody is using the same icon file. They’re not even using the same hex codes. It’s the Wild West out here. And everyone is wearing Warby Parkers.

Maybe this sounds familiar to you. If it doesn’t, it might soon. As we know at Gusto, growing design teams are really hard to keep in sync. You know what they say… mo’ pixels, mo’ problems.

Every design team knows they need design principles, but making them useful is really hard to do. So…

Or unbelievably finding happiness in uncertainty.

I never wanted to be an astronaut.

When people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I don’t think I ever gave the same consecutive answer. I couldn’t make up my mind. First, I wanted to be a professional snowboarder. I resolved to attend mountain school, where I could split time between snowboarding and learning. The purest of dreams. My mom had other ideas. She refused to send me. I got in a habit of telling her I hated her. She never called my bluff.

There were other passionate — if not fleeting — bouts of conviction…

What do you miss about childhood? Recess? Waking up at the crack of a snowstorm’s dawn to watch the school closings ticker flit along the bottom of your local news station? Changing into your snow gear and running to the nearby hill for a day of endless sledding? Like recess and sledding, the things about childhood we’re wont to miss are those that don’t or seemingly can’t exist anymore. At least not in the context of our present lives.

For me, one dear figment of the past is candy. If you saw me now, you’d likely respond with a…

AJ Divalerio (instagram.com/theiiird)

On togetherness and secularization.

I’m Jewish. I always have been, and I guess I always will be. Whatever. It’s just something I am, not something I am, so it’s not something I do. Though there are some things I did that being Jewish had a hand in.

I fell in love for the first time in Hebrew school. Her name was Brooke, she was 13 going on 18, and she was very, very attractive. Maybe it was lust, not love, but at that age I certainly didn’t know the difference.

I also experienced the lavishness of a bar mitzvah. I absolutely hated every second…

In Defense of Dance Music

There are very few universal languages. Food might be. Math probably is. But you can make a really strong case for music, even with its’ myriad genre “dialects.” My mom loves Andrea Bocelli, yet has no idea what she’s singing along to. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, and U2, among many others, sell out stadiums all over the globe and play to seas of adoring fans, at least some of whom have no idea what the lyrics mean.

It’s well documented that for me, a growing percentage of my generation, and a portion of the generation above, dance music…

Jason Marder

Design @ Stripe. Previously redesigned Gusto. Life enthusiast. Lover of all things delicious. www.jasonmarder.com

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